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BBC Worldwide buys into Big Talk

BBC Worldwide, the commercial arm of the British public broadcaster, has acquired a minority stake in Simon Pegg’s UK indie Big Talk.

The producer and distributor has bought a 25% share in the company, which is run by chief executive Nira Park and managing director Matthew Justice, and has produced Pegg’s hit comedy series Spaced as well as movies including Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz.

The deal continues BBC Worldwide’s strategy to acquire stakes in UK independent producers and follows similar deals with Steve Coogan’s Baby Cow Productions and Andy Harries’ Left Bank.

Wayne Garvie, director of content and production at BBC Worldwide, told TBIvision that it would continue this acquisition strategy. “We might do one or two more,” he said. He added that it had rejected far more offers than it had invested in.

Kenton Allen, ex-BBC creative head of comedy, joins Big Talk as joint chief executive. Former Channel 4 drama boss Luke Alkin has also recently joined the company, which has scored a number of new commissions including Simon Pegg’s new Channel 4 comedy Life and Other Distractions.